Reda, summoned to accompany his father on a pilgrimage to Mecca, complies reluctantly - as he preparing for his baccalaureat and, even more important, has a secret love relationship. The trip across Europe in a broken-down car is also the departure of his father: upon arrival in Mecca, both Reda and his father are not the characters they were at the start of the movie. Avoiding the hackneyed theme of the return to the homeland, the film uses the departure to renew a connection between two generation.Written by
When the waters of the ocean rise to the heavens, they lose their bitterness to become pure again
I don't know...Maybe it's just because it's an impressive tribute to some Muslim religious action(hajj)but I just felt the movie is so underrated. I just can't believe that the movie has just been voted by only 223 people so far given that the movie was produced in 2004 and it has won many awards since then.About the movie...it's one of those well-acted sweet movies.Reda,a French teenager due to sit for Baccalauréat, is asked by his devout elderly father to take him to Mecca.Strange as it may seem(if one doesn't know much about Islam)the father wants his son to drive them from their home in France to Saudia Arabia on a once-in-a-lifetime religious pilgrimage.The generation gap between the father and the son is based on simple enough terms('you may know how to read and write, but you know nothing about life,' the unnamed father to his son)but some sort of bromidic generation gap literature is avoided.Bot of them are affectionate in their frustrations.The father never speaks in French though Reda understands Arabic but can only seem to answer in French. Though they encounter many people on the road: "There's the scary old woman they pick up in the Bosnian border on the way to Belgrade, and the talkative Mustafa(Jacky Nercessian), who helps them out at the border of Turkey,the reticent and shy women wearing burqas on the way to Damascus" the focus is always on the mismatched father and son.There is not much of a conversation in the movie which makes it enjoyable to your eyes. You see magnificent views in every city they go.The director shows you even the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia even though the movie is not relatively long.
Generally I don't like movies which don't have enough dialogs and which take their power from camera subtleties but this one was really great.Despite some unanswered details(like Reda's unseen French girlfriend)the movie appeals to senses.Great work of art and remember this movie is Ismaël Ferroukhi's debut.
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